What we have these days is a wheelbarrow full of A.J. Burnett trade rumors. Unfortunately somebody knocked over the wheelbarrow and now the trade rumors are all over the place. See, over there? A.J. Burnett trade rumor. Here, under the sofa? A.J. Burnett trade rumor. Somebody's going to have to pick up all of these A.J. Burnett trade rumors!
The likelihood, as far as I can tell, is that A.J. Burnett will get traded, soon. And the likelihood, as far as I can tell, is that A.J. Burnett will get traded to the Pirates. He will probably get traded in exchange for two non-prospects, with the Yankees eating a big chunk of his salary.
So the big question is: just how much left does A.J. Burnett have to offer? Is he a big league-caliber starting pitcher, or is he the mess the Yankees can't wait to get rid of? At The Hardball Times, Chris Lund attempts to find the answer:
It’s not the A.J. Burnett we used to know and drool over, but it’s an A.J. Burnett who could be just as effective from a pitching standpoint. He’s no longer a top of the rotation starter in the AL East by virtue of his age if nothing else, but there is no reason why Burnett couldn’t be a 2.5-3.5 WAR pitcher once again. If he lands on a team in a weak division and a pitcher friendly park, he will be someone to keep an eye on.
Sorry for spoiling you with the conclusion right there. There's lots of other stuff before that paragraph. Burnett doesn't look like the pitcher he used to be, but there's a reason there are trade rumors - he's still an interesting guy, at a certain price, and he might have gas left in the tank. You can see why he's piqued the Pirates' curiosity.